Surrounded by family and friends, I spent this holiday once again reminded of all my blessings. I didn’t make a list of New Year’s resolutions, but did make a personal promise to improve where I could, try harder when necessary, and accept graciously when acceptance is the best option.
Traditions are the always in life, those things we count on and by which we define ourselves and our family. So my holiday table was full of the traditional foods like apples and honey, to represent a sweet new year, and round challahs, instead of the Sabbath braided ones, to symbolize the circle of life. It wouldn’t be a holiday in this household without homemade chocolate chip cookies. Perhaps not found in the Bible, but a required food group for my family.
One of the nicest traditions of the holiday is Tashlikh, the ritual of symbolically casting off your sins by tossing pieces of bread into a body of flowing water. The ancient practice is based on the the Biblical passage in Micah, “You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Our congregation strolls about a mile down to the park that edges Long Island Sound. We sing some traditional prayers and then walk out onto the rocks and toss bread into the waters. The gulls come swooping in, happy to ingest our “sins.” Inevitably we joke that we each need to bring at least a couple of loaves of bread to atone for all our sins. The Rabbi reminds us that it’s symbolic, not a one-for-one ratio of bread to sin.
Best wishes for a Healthy, Happy, Sweet New Year.
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David